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Posted: 7/30/2002 11:20:32 AM EDT
I just submitted my pistol permit application last week and I know it's going to take a few months, but there's no time like them present to start getting ideas and to save up a few hundred bucks. So what's your opinion? I DON"T want to get a .22 because it's not like I'm a new pistol shooter and I don't really think that caliber is appropriate for home/self defense. I'm centering my attention on a .45 cal that hopefully accepts preban hi-cap mags. Anuone have any experience with the HK USP??
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 11:22:41 AM EDT
I don't have any experience with the HK, but you may want to consider a Glock. Very easy to shoot and very accurate straight out of the box. They take down easily as well, only 4 pieces after a field strip.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 11:25:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By medicmandan:
I don't have any experience with the HK, but you may want to consider a Glock. Very easy to shoot and very accurate straight out of the box. They take down easily as well, only 4 pieces after a field strip.



Yeah, the Glock Model 21 was definately on my mind. And it accepts preban hi-cap mags as well!!
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 11:28:30 AM EDT
I love the 21, but the 30 is more comfortable for daily concealed carry. It will also accept the preban hi-caps, but looks kind of strange with it in there.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 11:43:34 AM EDT
I'm a die hard HK fan, but I will be the first to say that HK handguns are too big for Concealing. Even the USP Compact is still too big for concealing IMO. Keep in mind I'm 6'1" 200 and have average sized hands for a person my size.

For target shooting and playing, my fullsize USP .45 is a hoot.

I used to not feel this way and was very closed minded about other weapons other then HK's.

I then bought a Glock 17, sold it two months later for my own reasons. (if you would like to know, please ask)

I've recently became very fond of small framed Revolvers for carrying and now successfully during summer time carry my SP101 .357mag.

Technically, the USP .45 doesn't have Hi-caps, due to it's introduction AFTER the 1994 crime bill.

But there is some 12 round "mystery" mags that work very well, but I don't recommend them due to their cost.

If you want MY honest to god opinion, the HK .45 isn't a great FIRST handgun, it's a great 2nd or 3rd handgun.

It's big, if your recoil sensitive, the .45 has a slight enough punch to throw the fundamentals off, and in all honesty, I can pick up my friends 1911 kimber and shoot it better day in and day out then MY USP w/match trigger that I've owned over a year. But remember, that's just me.

YMMV though so choose wisely.
Please, choose your weapon that FITS you well, and if you can, shoot one first. Don't make the mistake I did and bought your first handgun due to it's luster.

And Hk'ers, please don't Flame me, I'm still on your side, I just don't think a USP makes a great first handgun.

MY recommendation would be a smaller 1911 style (Kimber and Springfield make some sweet small 1911's) or a small framed revolver for your first handgun.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 11:48:01 AM EDT
.45ACP you say.......

Go for a Glock 30. Simple, reliable, accurate, easy to shoot, holds 10 + 1 rounds, easy to clean/care for, etc. If I could have only one pistol, the 30 would be it.

I love my 21, too, but some folks think the grip is a bit large. It holds 13 + 1 rounds with a standard capacity mag.

Not to start a "my 1911 rules, your Glock sucks" arguement but your chances of buying a reliable pistol right out of the box is much better with a Glock than it is with a 1911. I do have a parkerized Springfield Loaded 1911A1 that has been 100% reliable right out of the box and it's an accurate shooter, too. I love to shoot it and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But I also bought a more expensive Springfield TRP which was less relaible and eventually sold it.

My two cents is that buying a 1911 today and expecting it to function correctly (not perfectly as nothing man-made is perfect) right out of the box is a crapshoot. You and I could buy two different Springfields (or Kimbers, whatever) from the same shop on the same day and mine might need some reliability work and yours might not. I think this could be said for any production 1911, Colt, Kimber, SA, etc.

Once again, this is the way I see it. Glocks certainly aren't perfect but you've got a much better shot at buying one that functions properly right out of the box. And you can get them for about $500-$530 +/- depending on where you live.

Good luck to ya'!
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 11:52:56 AM EDT
What do you want to do with this handgun? Are you going to carry or just target shoot? Or do you wish to enter IPSC type events? Or tactical type shooting events like IDPA ?

All of the above mentioned handguns are excellent. Of course you can't rule out the tried and true 1911 designs either. I would spend time at a gunshop, rent & use their stock, see which fits you best. Something to remember: Hi-cap means nothing if the gun you choose does not allow proper fit for your hands, and trigger control.

Good luck!

Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:02:36 PM EDT
Get a Sig or a Taurus in .40 or better yet 9mm. It is a good first pistol to have and won't punish you with recoil, plus the ammo is cheaper for the 9mm. They hold their value well for future trade if you want to do that. Glocks don't have a safety, no matter what you call that joke on the trigger, and a new shooter needs that extra safety IMHO. Remember the Taurus has all the quality of a berretta or better and the best warranty in the business. As a second choice, and I am biased, get a 1911, preferably a Kimber, a Springfield, or a Para-Ord in that order.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:03:35 PM EDT
Get the Glock for swimming out of a submarine, crawling onto an enemy beach, using the gun to dig a foxhole, then deciding to use it. Glocks are like owning a SUV for downtown Honolulu traffic. Sure, they drive well, but they are not made for that surrounding...

Get a 1911. They are a proven design, and I put all my shots where I want them to go at 25 yds...
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:10:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2002 12:12:35 PM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:11:25 PM EDT
Get the Glock!
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:11:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mugzilla:
Get the Glock for swimming out of a submarine, crawling onto an enemy beach, using the gun to dig a foxhole, then deciding to use it. Glocks are like owning a SUV for downtown Honolulu traffic. Sure, they drive well, but they are not made for that surrounding...

Get a 1911. They are a proven design, and I put all my shots where I want them to go at 25 yds...



I would have to agree with you there. I own both a Glock and a 1911. My first 1911 experience was with a standard issue 5". Now, the Wilson Combat CQB is my handgun of choice.

I would rather put 7 in center mass, Opposed to 15 everywhere else.

Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:49:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pat-fujimoto:
What do you want to do with this handgun? Are you going to carry or just target shoot? Or do you wish to enter IPSC type events? Or tactical type shooting events like IDPA ?






If everything goes according to plan, I intend to use it for concealed carry. If for some reason they only give me a "premises only" permit, than things like concealability don't really matter. How about the Beretta Model 92F? My aunt has one of these and I don't think it has eveer given her any problems.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:59:05 PM EDT
For home defense, the Beretta is a fine firearm, as well. I don't care for them because I'm not a huge fan of 9mm and they are heavier than a Glock. But that's just a matter of personal preference. Berettas are reliable and accurate pistols.

It'd be pretty heavy for carry, though.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:02:35 PM EDT
I have a lot of experience with the USP. My first firearm was a Compact 9mm. They are excellent firearms. I own a Match in .45, and an Expert in .40 as well. They are as close to idiot-proof as I'd care to challenge. They give you a lot of carry options, such as cocked-and-locked, DAO, etc...

To be fair, I echo the sentiments of those who say that the USP is a large gun. My Compact is not very. They are also a bit pricey. My line of thought is that you get what you pay for, but there are plenty of excellent firearms, and Glock is one of them, that are less expensive, leaving you with more money to spend on ammo. Practice is essential. It doesn't matter how much your gun costs, nor how big of a bullet you've got if you can't hit the broad side of a barn with it.

For a first pistol, I'd definitely go with 9mm. It's cheap (practice!), readily available, and there are some nasty personal defense rounds out there.

As a parting thought, I spend the vast majority of my time punching holes in paper and cardboard. As a result, I kind of wish I had bought a full-sized 9mm instead of the Compact. I quit carrying my Compact because it was not a terribly comfortable gun. I now carry a small revolver for that purpose. If your primary purpose is target shooting or home defense, perhaps you should consider the full sized models as well.

I encourage you to check out HKpro.com for all the information you could want on the USP series.

I have a few pictures of my own USP's here.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:22:59 PM EDT
Get a HK USP 45. You will never need another handgun. Yes I have many others but if poop hits the fan I'm grabbing the HK.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:30:04 PM EDT



If everything goes according to plan, I intend to use it for concealed carry. If for some reason they only give me a "premises only" permit, than things like concealability don't really matter. How about the Beretta Model 92F? My aunt has one of these and I don't think it has eveer given her any problems.

Ok, this may start a bit of flaming, but here it goes;

First things first; all current handguns from reputable manufactures are excellent guns. Sigs, Glocks, 1911s, Berettas, Taurus, etc...

Now, on to the flame-generator.....

I have a dislike for double action/single action triggers. I train with my handgun/shotgun/carbine quite often. I have discovered that having two different trigger pulls (in the DA/SA pistol )is very distracting. Also, "catching the link" on a SA pistol is easier. This refers to a technique of trigger control where you move your index finger on the trigger just far enough forward so the trigger can catch the hammer link. Mastering this will greatly improve your ability to shoot consistent groups.

There are other things to consider. If you are going to carry, you want a smaller package, because even a small gun will feel like it is pulling your clothing off after 8 hours.

Also, if you intend to carry and God forbid you have to use this weapon, you want to think about as little as possible in terms of getting the gun out, sighted and ready to fire. This example makes a great case for either a SIG or a Glock, because neither gun has a frame mounted safety. The SIG has just a hammer drop & the Glock has the safe-action trigger. Draw, get front sight on target, put finger in fire position and pull.

It my previous post, I said I prefered the 1911. This is because it fits my hand really REALLY well. I have a Glock and although it fits, it doesn't fit as well as the 1911. Also, the Glock's wide slide has a tendency to draw my line of sight away from the front post. This can cause occassional sight picture problems for me.

Now, before anybody rips into me about my comments, I have 3 good buddies that serve in 2 different SEAL teams, and I know they are issued SIG 226s which are DA/SA weapons. And that the M9 is also a DA/SA weapon. I am not saying they are bad options, I am just saying they don't work as well for me.

That is why I suggested shooting as much as possible with someone elses guns. Hell, take a class or two on defensive pistol use. Then make up your mind on your own.

Hope all that helps
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:38:19 PM EDT
I have a Glock 19, 30 and 36. But I find my self carrrying the 36 most of the time because of its size and weight. Only down side is the mag capacity of 6+1. But if you need more than that you could always carry an extra mag (or six if you are really paranoid). I do carry the 19 in the winter, If you can call them that in GA. Good luck.

Scot
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:45:49 PM EDT
Hey,

One more thing. Everybody I know that is an avid pistol shooter has come full circle back to the .45

I don't know why this is, but it seems to be pretty much a wierd norm. They start out with 9mm, then proceed to .40 S&W, only to end up wanting a .45 I have ZERO logic to support this, it just seems to happen.

Also, the HK USP is a wonderful sidearm. Well made, well engineered, very accurate out of the box. Of course when talkin HK, a P7 squeeze-cocker is pretty sweet as well.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:50:11 PM EDT
gunner-1, It's great news that you applied for a CCW, I hope you get a full carry, but a premesis is better than none at all. gunner-1, being that you have experience with handguns already, the best thing to do is try a few weapons that you have already considered as a carry piece and take it from there. I am a big fan of the 9mm caliber for a first handgun choice for a few reasons. Mainly it has enough stopping power and less recoil than the larger calibers. This will get you back on target right away for follow up shots, or to shoot another target in the instance of multiple attackers/intruders and with a possible 15+ round capacity you can take out a small street gang without reloading. Also it is cheaper to train with and there are a good number of quality mfgs to choose from today. Try as many pistols as you can, the one that you can shoot/operate the best should be your choice. I like the Beretta 92fs design, it is a great high cap capable weapon and very reliable, albiet a little large for carry. I was dead set on that weapon, however, when it came time to buy a 92fs I tried a few others first. At the range I found the HK USP to fit my hand like a glove and point dead on target without even trying to get a sight picture, the Glock also felt right for me in the same manner. Then I rented out all the pistols that I felt were the best choice for me, as well as a few that I just wanted to shoot like a Desert Eagle and decided on a Glock in .40SW. The HK USP-40 was actually first rated in overall performance by me, but only by a hair so the lower price of the Glock was the final factor. I also owned and loved the HK P7M13 but it was probably a bit heavy for a daily carry weapon.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:56:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2002 3:15:48 PM EDT by GSG9]

Originally Posted By gunner-1:
If everything goes according to plan, I intend to use it for concealed carry. If for some reason they only give me a "premises only" permit, than things like concealability don't really matter. How about the Beretta Model 92F? My aunt has one of these and I don't think it has ever given her any problems.



Man I hate to say it like this but have you thought about what you are saying? A Glock 21 or full size Beretta aren't exactly concealable unless you intend to wear a shoulder rig and jacket whenever you're out. Concealing these guns is like trying to hide a tank under a bedsheet!

If you are really after substantial firepower in a smaller size then I suggest you look into either a compact Glock or Kahr in .40S&W or .357Sig (Kahr only available in .40), they are both small enough to conceal yet provide enough grip purchase for you to have extended range time with your only handgun (a good compromise between a duty pistol and a subcompact).



edit for better image
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 1:57:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gunner-1:
I just submitted my pistol permit application last week and I know it's going to take a few months, but there's no time like them present to start getting ideas and to save up a few hundred bucks. So what's your opinion?



I know I am gonna get yelled at for this, but oh well...

---Good Beginner Guns By Caliber---

9mm--: Springfield XD - Formerly HS2000
Great gun, incredibly accurate, inexpensive, easy to maintain. Basically a Glock clone.


40SW--: Glock 22 is nice. A little expensive though. You could always get the XD in 40. Or even a Beretta 96 (you can always find Berettas cheap) - I have never had a good experience with Berettas though. They are masterfully crafted, but not very accurate in my opinion.
Another "interesting" .40 is the FN Forty-Nine. I have never fired one. I hear good and bad things. They are very inexpensive though. (Around $325)

45 ACP--: Colt 1991A1 - Good starter.. or you could save a few bucks without sacrificing quality by getting a Springfield Mil-Spec.

Don't mess with .357 Sig, 357 Mag, or .44 if this is your first gun. Also don't bother with any caliber under 9mm. I think 9mm is great though. Inexpensive and effective. (The debate rages on about 9mm..) By the way... (Yet another comment that will get me in trouble...) After you get your first handgun from a local gun shop, buy all your other ones from online sources and have an FFL do the transfer. You will save hundreds that way.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 2:02:50 PM EDT
NBTB,

I think you make an excellent point about staying away from certain calibers. Although it is the rage right now, I think the .357 SIG should be avoided, as well as any magnum round.

9mm & .45..You can find cheap practice ammo everywhere. The .40 S&W is also approaching this category.

Also, a compact 9mm with a single stack magazine is a great concealment choice. It is probably the lowest power cartridge I would recommend.

Link Posted: 7/30/2002 2:15:21 PM EDT
Get whatever feels comfortable and you can shoot accurately. Don't get hung up on the brand and don't get hung up on the caliber.

If you aren't comfortable with a lack of manual safeties, then stay away from Glock style. If you worry about fumbling with manual safeties in stressful situation, then don't get a 1911 style.

If you don't like the recoil of the .45, then get something smaller and if you don't feel adequately protected by 9mm then get something bigger.

The bottom line is that all the popular brands and calibers will work fine if you do your part. Anybody who says that "this gun isn't accurate" or "that caliber isn't powerful enough" is expressing their own opinion. No problem with that but it doesn't mean squat about what's best for you. Go to the range, try out a few different calibers and several different manufacturers and models. Get whatever you can shoot accurately and comfortably and don't worry about the name engraved on the side.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 2:31:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2002 2:35:13 PM EDT by GSG9]

Originally Posted By Nut_Behind_The_Bolt:

Don't mess with .357 Sig, 357 Mag, or .44 if this is your first gun. Also don't bother with any caliber under 9mm.




Originally Posted By Pat-fujimoto

NBTB,

I think you make an excellent point about staying away from certain calibers. Although it is the rage right now, I think the .357 SIG should be avoided, as well as any magnum round.



So enlighten me, what is the problem with a .357Sig??? You get the capacity of a .40 and damn near the efficiency of a .357 Magnum and from my personal experiences limited recoil. Ammunition may not be cheap but in no way is it outrageous either. The .357Sig may be a "new" round but it is intrinsically reliable and all factors point to it being a true manstopper.

edited to add: For just a few bucks more you can buy a .40 barrel and have two guns in one.

Jake
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 2:47:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GSG9:

Originally Posted By gunner-1:
If everything goes according to plan, I intend to use it for concealed carry. If for some reason they only give me a "premises only" permit, than things like concealability don't really matter. How about the Beretta Model 92F? My aunt has one of these and I don't think it has ever given her any problems.



Man I hate to say it like this but have you thought about what you are saying? A Glock 21 or full size Beretta aren't exactly concealable unless you intend to wear a shoulder rig and jacket whenever you're out. Concealing these guns is like trying to hide a tank under a bedsheet!

If you are really after substantial firepower in a smaller size then I suggest you look into either a compact Glock or Kahr in .40S&W or .357Sig (Kahr only available in .40), they are both small enough to conceal yet provide enough grip purchase for you to have extended range time with your only handgun (a good compromise between a duty pistol and a subcompact).





Ditto on exactly what he said. If you are going to CCW, you will really like the Kahr.

Link Posted: 7/30/2002 2:52:47 PM EDT
Take a look at Rock River Arms Elite Commando.

http://www.rockriverarms.com/elite_commando.htm

I think it would be the best choice. It is the hits that count not mag capacity.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 5:20:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FAL_G1:
Take a look at Rock River Arms Elite Commando.

http://www.rockriverarms.com/elite_commando.htm

I think it would be the best choice. It is the hits that count not mag capacity.



The more hits, the merrier!
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 2:56:51 PM EDT
If it's for bed stand type,I like the Sig 220, always reliable and shoots pretty easy for a 45. I have both Kahr 40 and Glock 36 for carry. End up carrying the Glock in a Bladetec IWB holster because it's thinner in this holster than the Kahr in a Summer special IWB leather holster. Also, the Kahr is just not as reliable for me(to be fair I had the Kahr chromed at Checkmate and it's so tight maybe if I shot a lot more ammo through it might get trouble free).
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 6:41:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gunner-1:
I just submitted my pistol permit application last week and I know it's going to take a few months, but there's no time like them present to start getting ideas and to save up a few hundred bucks. So what's your opinion? I DON"T want to get a .22 because it's not like I'm a new pistol shooter and I don't really think that caliber is appropriate for home/self defense. I'm centering my attention on a .45 cal that hopefully accepts preban hi-cap mags. Anuone have any experience with the HK USP??


btt
Link Posted: 7/31/2002 9:56:26 PM EDT
If its going to be a carry gun the smaller and lighter the better, but dont go below 9mm. The only exception i'd make to this would be for a Taurus or S&W Ti or Al frame 38+P rated wheelgun. The new 357 mag scandium frame S&W is what i'm looking to buy in about a year after I test fire it if I can handle the recoil. Its lighter than even the Kahr PM9 and 5 rounds of 357 is better than 6 rounds of 9mm in my opinion. As for Taurus semi auto stay away, stay far away, the gunsmith at the hunting/ fishing store where i used to work hated and still hates them. They just arent reliable, but their wheelguns are great. If I cant handle the recoil of the Scandium 357 Smith then I'm looking at getting a Glock 27, Kahr PM9, or one of the above mentioned 38s. I do also want a 45 and the Kimber procarry is mighty tempting, but I'm still in college so I'm saving my money because the one handgun I get a year or so from now will be it for a good while. Those are the ones I'm considering, good luck with your search.
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 7:34:29 AM EDT
You got a lot of opinions here. Mostly good advice IMO.

I would suggest:

Caliber - 9 or above. 45 is fine (I prefer it) but even a 9 will do the job. In self defense shooting is like real estate - location location location! A 9mm will do the job if properly placed. If you just don't think a niner is good enough, I suggest the 40 S&W. It has excellent power and high capacity. A fine compromise between the bulky 45 and lightweight 9mm.

Size - find one that fits your hand and seems to point naturally for YOU. Best option is go to a range and try a few.

Type - for a first handgun I really recommend one of the newer "plastic wonders". These are so much easier to take down and clean. Unless you have shot 1911s for a while you won't understand what I mean. (Mind you, for me the 1911 is almost the perfect handgun)

Brand - This is important. Don't buy cheap. Brands I would suggest include Glock, Sig, Walther (yes, my wifes is an excellent and accurate gun), HK (bit bulky). I do not suggest Berreta, Raven, or anything less than $300 on general principle you get what you pay for.

Simplicity - external safeties are OK with me - but I practice at least 6 times a month. If you don't you might forget the safety at a crucial moment.

Hicaps - if this is really important to you I suggest the Glock. There are more Glock hicaps out there than most other brands.

Overall for value and utility I think the Glock is the winner for first carry/defense handgun. Pick the caliber (9mm, 40 S&W or 45 are best IMO) and the size that fits your hand.

For 45 I love the Glock 30. It just "fits". But that is me. The smaller Glocks in 40 and 9mm are excellent concealers with enough firepower.

last thing - as others stated stay away from weird new calibers. I have the baby Glock in .357Sig and it is too much for a new shooter. Heck, I don't like shooting it. Whatever you get - practice with it a lot. So a caliber that isn't fun to shoot will not do for you.

Good luck.,
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 7:50:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GSG9:

Originally Posted By Nut_Behind_The_Bolt:

Don't mess with .357 Sig, 357 Mag, or .44 if this is your first gun. Also don't bother with any caliber under 9mm.




Originally Posted By Pat-fujimoto

NBTB,

I think you make an excellent point about staying away from certain calibers. Although it is the rage right now, I think the .357 SIG should be avoided, as well as any magnum round.



So enlighten me, what is the problem with a .357Sig??? You get the capacity of a .40 and damn near the efficiency of a .357 Magnum and from my personal experiences limited recoil. Ammunition may not be cheap but in no way is it outrageous either. The .357Sig may be a "new" round but it is intrinsically reliable and all factors point to it being a true manstopper.

edited to add: For just a few bucks more you can buy a .40 barrel and have two guns in one.

Jake



GSG9,

There is nothing wrong with teh .357 SIG. It is a fine cartridge. Allow me to put my comments in perspective.

I purchased a Glock 20 in 10mm. I did this because at the time, it was THE round to have. Every report was "It is great," "Powerful!!" "Could this finally be the perfect handgun round?!" Guess what? The 10mm is fading fast from popularity. Why? who the hell knows! The same people from the same magazines that were promoting its greatness began to hint at its problems. The FBI adopted it, used it, and then switched to another caliber. The FBI HRT team now uses .45 again.

Now, I like the 10mm. It has more pop than a .45/.357SIG/.40S&W. I am a big fella, and I can control the round, so it works for me. But it is VERY expensive to shot. Twice the cost of 9mm or .45. And if you really shoot, it gets Costly.

Link Posted: 8/1/2002 11:18:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pat-fujimoto:

Now, I like the 10mm. It has more pop than a .45/.357SIG/.40S&W. I am a big fella, and I can control the round, so it works for me. But it is VERY expensive to shot. Twice the cost of 9mm or .45. And if you really shoot, it gets Costly.




Pat, I don't know where you're buying your 10mm but I have a feeling you could do better, as an example American Eagle 10mm only costs $1 more than their .45ACP. My .357Sig ammo starts at $11/50 rnd so I really don't see a problem with price.

Jake

Link Posted: 8/1/2002 11:48:05 AM EDT
My advice is...be careful of advice. That being said, I'll give you some advice.

First of all, I am not an expert, but I have made several purchases that later turned out to not be so godd. Both were made on "advice" from other people as to what gun "I had to have."

I would suggest that you look at what you want in a gun and see what others like about there guns. That will give you some type of starting point. Do as much research as you can on various sites. Most importantly, try before you buy. Find a place that rents guns or see if anyone that has a gun you are interested in would let you shoot theirs.

BTW, this was not meant as a critique on anyones post. Most have been highly informative. I just hate to see someone get something impulsively and then regret it.
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